Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Here is another example of how lawyers have different ethics from non-lawyers. From today's news:

SAN DIEGO -- Just before Danielle van Dam's body was found, David Westerfield's lawyers were close to nailing a deal under which he would have avoided the death penalty by revealing where he had dumped her remains, it was reported Tuesday.
Discussions between the defense attorneys and prosecutors were still under way minutes before Danielle's body was discovered by volunteers Feb. 27, law enforcement sources told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
The sources told the newspaper that defense lawyers Steven Feldman and Robert Boyce were negotiating for a life sentence for the 50-year-old design engineer, a neighbor of the van Dams in Sabre Springs.
The deal would have allowed Westerfield to plead guilty to murder and be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Union-Tribune reported.
Prosecutors were seriously considering the deal when Danielle's body was discovered off Dehesa Road that afternoon, nearly four weeks after she disappeared from her bedroom.
"The deal was just minutes away," one of the sources told the Union-Tribune.

Fox's O'Reilly thinks that this is outrageous because Feldman and Boyce argued at Westerfield's trial that someone else did the murder, even tho they knew all along that Westerfield was guilty. Lawyers just think a murderer is entitled to a vigorous defense.

The jury verdict was eventually death by lethal injection, but there was apparently so disagreement among the jurors. They took about a week and a half to find Westerfield guilty, and about as long to decide on the penalty. Defense lawyer lying almost worked.

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